By GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN, ABC News
(CARY, N.C.) — It’s the most common question Dr. Hope Seidel, a pediatrician in Cary, North Carolina, has gotten in the last two weeks.
“What should we [parents] do about school?”
To send or not to send is the “painful” struggle parents are facing, Seidel told Good Morning America. And so Seidel, who is also a parenting coach, wanted to share her advice.
In a video that’s now been viewed 250,000 times, the doctor said that while the question is the same, the circumstances are not. “Some of you have kids with asthma. Some of you work full time and some of you stay home and are thinking about homeschooling. Some of you have kids with learning disabilities and some of our patients have food insecurities where they need to be able to go to school to be able to get a full belly,” she said.
“All of you don’t have anything in common when you call and ask me the question about school,” Seidel, said in the video, except, she said, fear of making the wrong choice.
The bottom line for the doctor: “The decision that you make about school is the right decision.”
“The reality is that we don’t know the future and making the ‘best’ decision assumes we do. Things will occur that we can’t anticipate,” she told GMA.
Both choices — sending your kids or not — have risks and benefit, Seidel said, “It’s only because you can’t see what the future holds for you that’s making you afraid.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates” kids return to in-person learning in the fall. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said on Good Morning America Wednesday he would “absolutely” send his grandchildren back to school in the fall, except perhaps, his grandchild with an underlying medical condition.
“It’s not public health versus opening the school versus reopening schools and the economy. It’s public health versus public health,” Redfield said.
Seidel said parents should “trust themselves, trust their own compass. No one knows how to parent your child better than you.”
And she encouraged parents to realize that no choice is final. “If the option you choose isn’t working, take a pause and readjust. Wouldn’t it be great to raise a generation of kids who see it’s ok not to be right and perfect all the time?”
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